Armenia: ruling party withholds candidates for regional gov’t elections
Elections were held in 24 regional communities yesterday, but the ruling Civil Contract party did not nominate any candidates from its ranks to run.
Candidates run as independents
Members of the Civil Contract party nevertheless took part in the elections, but as independents.
The decision for the party not to be officially represented in the elections was explained by Vice-Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia, Lena Nazaryan, as a desire to ensure equal conditions for all candidates:
“We did not want to monopolise the political field. All those who wished to run, put their candidacies out as independents for the community to make a decision.”
The final election results have not yet been announced. However, preliminary data shows that Civil Contract party members may not have won in all districts.
The ruling party says this is reflective of the level of democracy in the country.
“I think the public is a little surprised by the fact that members of the ruling party can lose in the local elections. This suggests that important changes have taken place, and the authorities are not trying to take everything into their own hands. This is an important sign of democracy,” said Hayk Konjoryan, a deputy from the ruling parliamentary faction My Step.
There were no reports of serious election violations.
In one community a protest broke out. The former head of the community Rafik Andreasyan won the elections in Urtsadzor after resigning several months ago as a result of the protests that swept away the old government of the Republican Party of Armenia.
Protestors say they do not believe in the credibility of the election results, saying it is impossible that the same man be re-elected after he was forced to resign several months ago.